I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old, so we are VERY familiar with Peppa Pig. Both children have watched and loved the show, and we have even been to Peppa Pig Land twice so far- my daughter really wants to go again for her birthday later this year so we may well go for a third time, god help us!
So when I saw Peppa Pig: My First Concert was coming to Birmingham Town Hall I knew we had to get tickets!
We arrived at the Town Hall with a good 20 minutes to spare. It was easy to find our way around the Town Hall, although I must admit that I have been to concerts there before, and I did work front of house in venues for years so am very used to finding my way around a concert hall. We didn’t use it, but I heard the front of house staff telling customers that there was a buggy park on the ground floor. There was a toilet with baby change facilities near the door we used (Door B of the Hall). I was impressed with the number of booster seats there were available that you could just help yourself to once inside the Hall without having to wait for staff to bring it to you. And this may seem like an inconsequential detail, but there were also several bins that I could see inside the Hall. I always find that the key to keeping my little ones in a confined space and without them going bananas is snacks, snacks and more snacks- it was great that the Town Hall were prepared for that!
Before the concert started some of the musicians came out into the audience into the Stalls area and did their “warm up” playing the theme tune wandering around. I thought that was a lovely touch.
The concert was lovely. There was a good mix of songs from the show and other orchestral music. It did feel like a proper introduction to music and to attending a concert for very young children. We started saying hello to Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, which my two loved-such an exciting start to the concert, especially for my 2 year old. Then we were introduced to the musicians and the instruments they were playing.
I loved that they brought out the words to the Bing Bong song for us to sing along to-brilliant!
I asked my children later on in the day what their favourite part of the show was and my son said he liked Peppa and George’s great big crash (“In the Hall if the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg). My daughter liked the ballet dancing (“Russian Dance” from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky) as they got to do a bit of dancing, and the bit with the thunderstorms (Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, the “Pastoral”). There was a rather lovely piece at the end, with some beautiful light effects and a perhaps surprisingly familiar piece of music by Mozart.
It was a lovely concert, perhaps a little on the long side for my 2 year old, who had had enough around 40 minutes into the show. Thankfully I had brought enough snacks along to keep her relatively still, as she enjoyed the rest of the music, but she would have been very restless without them. My son was fine with the length of the concert and I think my daughter would have been if she had been 6 months to a year older. I do think that there was the right balance of show songs and orchestral music, and a good amount of interaction. Of course with a concert like this you are confined to the area around your seat, so it’s harder to let the children dance around as much as they want to at this age.
We did, of course, buy some merchandise-2 light windmills with Peppa and George on (one of each) for £10 each and an activity book at £4. The children loved the windmills , they were playing with them a lot yesterday afternoon and today as well, and we have had a look at the activity book which has some colouring, some quizzes about the concert, some images etc. My only gripe about the activity pack is that I would have liked it to have doubled as a programme and given at least a list of the pieces played in the concert, perhaps given a little more information about them. But that is a niggle about an otherwise lovely concert and a good introduction to orchestral music and concerts.